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Daniel - Poker Journal

On to Day 3

22 Feb 2009


Before I get to the poker, the latest Mommy update:

The feeding tube has helped make her face fuller, and they removed a tube from when she had surgery. Her breathing machine is down from a 10 to a 6, meaning that her lungs are now doing 40% of the work. The plan is to wean her off of the machine slowly until she can do the breathing on her own.

My brother also told me that the plan is to, when she is stable enough, take her back to Toronto and do the rehab there. They are thinking maybe by next week sometime.

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Poker today started out a bit unlucky when I was forced to double up a short stack with QQ versus his KK. I hovered around 75k for most of the day, not hitting any flops at all really, unlike yesterday. I dipped as low as 40,000, but I swear, I was never worried for even a second. I was below the average of 67,000, but the blinds were only 500-1000. I had 40 big blinds and that's plenty.

I got my stack back up over 80,000 after folding for three straight rounds and then finally raising under the gun with 2h 5h. It was 4-way action and I bet 4000 on th K-2-4 flop. The blind called, and the turn was a 5. I bet 11,000- he called. The river was a 6 and he checked. I put him on a pair of Kings and decided to milk him, so I bet 6000. He called.

The same guy a little later raises from late position to 2600. Paul Darden calls from the cutoff seat after a hesitation, and I decided to set a trap for the blinds by calling from the button with AA. Haralbos was in the big blind with a big stack of chips and I was hoping to see him raise, and then maybe the initial raiser going all in, and then snapping them off from there.

The blinds folded and the flop came J-J-6 with two spades. The raiser checked, Paul bet 4500 and I figured him for a pocket pair so I called. Then, to my surprise, the initial raised made it 14,000. Paul hesitated for quite a while before folding. That led me to believe he had a bigger pair than I thought. Check-raising a bet and a call in that spot screams of a Jack. I set my trap with the AA and things didn't quite work out as I'd hoped. I'm not one to get married to a hand in a situation like this, though, and genuinely felt like this guy was definitely not bluffing. I decided there was NO chance this guy thought he was bluffing either. He was super confident.
I'd usually call the raise and look at a turn card, but I decided, "Nah, he has to have the Jack," and I folded on the flop. I showed my hand and Paul said he mucked QQ... the raiser showed QQ!

Now, if you look at the way I played this hand you might be thinking it was just awful. Truth is, though, I'd fold it again in that spot. 9 times out of 10 the guy is going to show me something like K-J there. I'm not upset about my lay down at all. I disguised my hand and it ended up costing me the pot, but my decision to fold on the flop is going to be the right play the majority of the time so you can't dwell on the odd occasion where you folded a winner. If you never fold the best hand, then you just aren't playing all that well. Seems odd to say that, but it's definitely a fact.

So I ended the day with 89,1000 which is above the average. The blinds tomorrow will be just 600-1200, that means I'll have over 70 big blinds to play with. That's more than enough to continue playing the exact same strategy I started day one with. I have never veered from my strategy at any point in the tournament, because with the structure being so good, I've never been so short where I had to start eliminate hands from my range. I was still able to raise under the guy with 2h 5h profitably and can still do it tomorrow as well. I love this kind of poker. Lots of fun, and it just feels like it's SO hard to get eliminated. I'd have to either:

1) Get coolered
2) Take a bad beat
3) Go ice cold for an extended period of time

To get knocked out tomorrow. Let's hope none of those three things happen and I can have some fun at a stacked final table with Ivey and Antonio. Both of those guys give me trouble, so I'm looking forward to the challenge.



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